Tuesday, February 28, 2012

This Is Nothing Like Smelling Roses, I Don't Want To Stop And Smell This

The awful smell of stale urine is radiating from the kitchen trash can every time I open it to dump pieces from my frantic assembly of dinner. It nauseates me and taints my entire perception of the meal I am preparing, but I can't do anything about it. I would change the trash bag, but I fear delaying the presentation of food to my extremely hungry and very cranky children would mean I would no longer be pushing through the evening, but rather retreating to my closet floor to cry.

I have a splitting headache, most likely from all the screaming and my own ravenous hunger, but it could just be that I am being crushed by the guilt I feel for obviously not handling anything well this afternoon.  The best example of my lack of skills being my horribly timed preparation of dinner.  The pain is awful.  Nothing hurts more than realizing you are mostly to blame for your own problematic chaos. 

I have an Advil in one of those very mean foil packets teasing me on the counter. It could save me, if I could only get it open with my aggressive, but not at all effective attempts to rip into it.  I find myself opening packages and chopping onions and then trying to bite open the pill.  I probably look as insane as I feel. 

Do you think my kids would be nicer to me if I told them I had an actual mental health issue?  Could I train them to only whisper to me, being careful not to startle or anger me?

I realize I am out of two key ingredients for dinner and end up using diced tomatoes rather than tomato sauce and soy sauce rather than Worcheshire. I am confident that both of those substitutions have just created a meal that my children will immediately dislike and not even bother to eat, making me wonder why I'm not just sending them to bed now after a bowl of cereal that would make me the good guy. 

This could all be over and I could be pouring a glass of wine to wash down my Advil. 

Cereal does sound good.

Aiden is crying at the kitchen table because he doesn't like to draw pictures for his homework, claiming he's a horrible artist so what's the point? I feel like I should be starting some inspirational speech about rising to the challenge of a task or giving everything the best we can, but instead I finally walk over and simply take the paper from him and tell him to pour the milk. I am not winning that battle tonight, I refuse to participate.

Cole is still on the floor of the bathroom where he's been lying since I pulled him out of the bath 10 minutes ago for dumping water repeatedly in his sister's face.  He's crying because he's too cold to move from the bath mat to his room where his pajamas are waiting.  I sort of understand his lack of inspiration to move, his wanting some one else to handle all the work while he lies there.  I want a bathmat. 

Today, Cole's already informed me that he isn't going to cooperate anymore, ever, because he prefers to do what he wants. He also has proclaimed that I don't love him anymore. He's thrown playground gravel at me as he sat in time out on a park bench for hitting Stella, while I discussed discipline strategy with a Dad I met about 5 minutes before that when he asked my opinion on how to handle his two year old since he saw I have so many kids.

I am very aware of how little credibility I had in that man's eyes.  

I think I saw fear in his eyes.

Stella is screaming at my feet, inconsolable and desperate to be held, though picking her up doesn't come close to calming her down and only slows my progress. I keep throwing random parts to my food processor and a bag of Popsicle molds to her to try to pacify her.  She is surprisingly uninterested.

I know she's hungry, but these days she screams to get anything, lacking any real words to convey her needs.  We had a massive screaming fit over her wish to have me roll down her window in the van earlier today.  Is it that challenging to learn the word window?  Can we just get a noun of some sort?  I have given her a bowl of peas, a cheese stick, and a few crackers, why am I killing myself for dinner? What else could this child really want? 

I can tell you what she won't want in about 10 minutes, soy sauce and diced tomatoes mixed with meat.

I am starting to feel that there is something cosmically working against me today. 
All that is moving me forward is that in less than two hours they will all be in bed. I will be alone, this mess will be over. I can dedicate the five minutes required to open that foil package of pain medication. I can stop instructing and assisting and calming and reprimanding and freaking out.

I can eat, only waiting on myself.

Today is not extraordinary outside of the gift of having it.  This dinnertime-bedtime scenario is not unusual.  It's not always this bad, but it's always rough in some way.  It's always exhausting and frantic, regardless of my plans. There are just so many of them and they need so much. 

When do they stop needing me so much?  I'm looking for a time with significantly less tears.

I'm trying so hard to be grateful for this time with my small children at home. I am trying to put my phone down, cut myself a break on the frequency of blogging, and stop and seriously smell the roses, or in this case my kids, more often.

I am trying. I really am....but all I smell is stale urine and sloppy joes gone ary. 


Linking up to Shell's Pour Your Heart Out.


Prudently Painted Vintage said...

Sounds like a tough day! You're a better mom than me, the cereal would have won for sure. Nobody wants this mom to cook when I'm that stressed. You are talented :)

Pish Posh said...

Aw, crappy day. You're hanging in there. Sometimes thinks like that can push me over the edge too - the smell of urine is awful. You need a hug, a glass of wine, and a massage. And a raise.

Amanda I said...

I feel for ya, I hate dinner time. Not only is it pain to plan, prep, and cook but then comes the fight to get the kids to eat. If I could get rid of dinner and serve peanut butter and jam everynight I would.

lcarp51 said...

Mine just yell at each other unless they are watching TV. But I find when I put them in quiet time it helps. (In their room. On their beds. No feet can touch the floor.) Sometimes they even fall asleep and wake up happy. Something about that time of the day...turns them into werewolves or something...

Life As Wife said...

Sometimes you have to serve cereal just to survive the day.

Hang in there and take that Advil if you need it! Thinking of you!

Katie said...

We had that kind of day/dinner time around here too. When the kids were finally in bed and I was relaxing with a glass of wine, one of them woke up puking and continued all night. Here's to a better day!

Shell said...

The end of the day always seems so hard. Everything seems worse. I really wish I could check out about 2 hours before my kids go to bed and have someone else deal with that part of the day.

Kmama said...

Just when they're old enough to stop needing/wanting you so much, that's when you'll wonder when it happened...when they stopped wanting and needing you so much.

That doesn't help with the hard days though. The hard days are here and now and as demanding as can be. Hang in there. Drink some wine. Cry. Vent. Blog. We all understand.

alanna rose said...

Hang in there! I hope tomorrow is a better day :)

Delilah Love said...

Have you been peeking in my windows? You just described a never ending scene in my house except I will ignore the screaming long enough to pour a glass of wine. Or Three. Sometimes five. Don't judge me.

♥Messy Jessy♥ said...

So sorry you had a rough day. (I know I am behind.) Hopefully you won the battle against the Advil and enjoyed a nice glass of wine.

Have you ever heard the song, "You're gonna miss this" By Trace Adkins?
It popped into my head when I read your post.
I know it's tough now but it WILL get better! Keep your head up beautiful. :)

Adrienne said...

Sending hugs! Hang in there. The worst days just seems to drag on and on. Tomorrow is a new day! Hopefully one without soy sauce and urine. You're not alone. We've all had these days!

Emmy said...

Can I give you a hug?? So sorry. And I know things like this don't always help- but I totally know what you are saying. My kitchen is always a disaster, spices, bowls, spoons everywhere just trying to keep everyone somewhat happy while I make dinner. I scream and shout and think so many mean thoughts and then I feel guilty but yell again anyway. I can't wait until I am needed less but also terrified of it as will they be okay without me?? I hope tomorrow is better

Two Normal Moms said...

Virtual hug to you. I've got nothing to make it better, but I hope today was a better day than that one!

Sara @ Domestically Challenged said...

Amen momma! You are awesome though, and tomorrow will be so much better. Go buy yourself something fun- NOT A GARBAGE CAN- and that will help.

Mel said...

Oh, girl! Hang in there. I always try and tell myself when mine is in a horrible phase (screaming, hitting, whatever) that it will pass just as quickly as those cute parts, it will just SEEM longer.
Fix yourself a pretty cocktail after they are in bed!

Toni said...

Ten years ago, my boys were the same age as your kids. I was a stay at home mom and my husband traveled a lot for work. In order to save my sanity at the "witching hour", I had a mother's helper come in everyday from 4 pm to 5:30 pm. It allowed me to get homework done with my eldest son and to prepare supper. The kids loved playing with Angie and I got a few minutes to myself. Don't put too much pressure on yourself, you need a break.

Tracey - Just Another Mommy Blog said...

Deep breath. On days like these, when you try and try to smell the roses and all you smell is urine, I try to remember that my family is all HERE. Screaming and stinky and annoying? Maybe. But with me and not across the country or in a hospital. I sometimes have to get a bit morbid to find the silver lining, but if that's what it takes to make me not scream like a banshee? then so be it. Chin up. Hope the next days are good ones.